TORONTO – Calls for a “release of the Kraken”, previously reserved for stories of Norse folklore and rumors, have become the latest rallying cry for pro-Trump groups spreading groundless allegations of widespread voter fraud in the US election.
Pro-Trump groups, including QAnon conspiracy theorists, shared the hashtag #ReleaseTheKraken in the weeks following President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in an effort to support the legal campaign to challenge the election results.
But how did the kraken – a giant sea monster of Scandinavian folklore that rises from the ocean over its enemies and the name of a popular rum brand – become a symbol of this campaign?
The hashtag appears to stem from comments made by Sidney Powell, attorney for former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
During an interview with the Fox Business Network on November 13, Powell claimed that the president’s team had strong evidence of widespread voter fraud in several major states.
We are talking about hundreds of thousands of votes. She said during the interview that President Trump won these elections by an overwhelming majority.
Powell claimed that she had seen a growing body of evidence and testimony from voters to prove Dominion’s voting machines had altered ballots in major swing states, claiming that the machines had been developed to rig elections in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba and China.
When asked whether she believed her allegations of voter fraud were “the culmination of a four-year effort to topple the Trump presidency,” she claimed that voter fraud was organized and conducted with the help of tech companies, social media companies, and the media.
“I will release the kraken,” she said.
The hashtag continued to gain traction on Twitter as Trump supporters spread news of efforts to legally challenge the election results. Although some tweets, on Saturday, appeared to mock the effort as users shared pictures of The Kraken’s rum bottles, and pictures of octopuses, which are usually used to depict the fictional creature.
There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud that Trump and his legal team repeatedly claimed and criticized by state judges and election officials.
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